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Hankster

Amsterdam, Netherlands Photo Tour

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I've just returned from a business trip from Amsterdam. It was my first visit ever there. What an urban experience! The city is very, very dense. People travel by every means imaginable - by foot, by bicycle, by boat, by car, by bus, by street car, by train, and by subway. The architecture is spectacular, albeit quite old. Most of the city was built in the 1600's and 1700's. While cities in Tennessee will never be the equal to Amsterdam in urban living, I think a lot can be learned from studying the urban aspects of this city and applying the best features to our cities in Tennessee. Here's some photos taken just this past weekend in Amsterdam.

Inside Centraal Station in the heart of downtown Amsterdam

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The wide sidewalks of a major downtown street

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Spectacular architecture

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A canal scene

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The inscription translates to "Mankind doesn't piss into the wind".

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A downtown resaurant area

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Street cars near Centraal Station (I've never seen so many anywhere!)

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A 3 level parking garage for bikes - I've never seen so many bikes in one place!

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A residential area viewed from one of Amsterdams many canals.

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Residential areas along the canals (notice the many bikes)

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Downtown shopping on Saturday (unbelievably crowded)

PB120628.jpg

Partying before the big game.... a world cup tuneup game between Holland and Italy.

PB120634.jpg

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i'd love to go there some day. seems so open with everything. i doubt the southern baptists in nashville would like it too much if we became like amsterdam though. haha.

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Did you get informed about not walking in the bikelane? :D Lots of tourists mistake it sometimes as just another part of the sidewalk, bikers are known to ride up and smack folks upside the head for walking outside the pedetrian area (ie sidewalk) and in their riding lane. I never saw it happen, but was told it does.

Great pics. Alas, Tennessee cities, heck most US cities, could only dream of the density and mass transit found in Amsterdam and other US cities. Different histories, geographies, etc of course dedicated how European and US urban development progressed and diverged from one another.

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I have a photo of that exact same spot in the second picture. I took a photo of my buddy buying, uh, well, let's just say it's wasn't a big deal then.

Yep, Amsterdam is beautiful. Could we be another Amsterdam? No. But it's an easy trip. Highly recommended. Hank, we wondered where you ran off to. How exotic. I'm jealous.

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Did you get informed about not walking in the bikelane? :D Lots of tourists mistake it sometimes as just another part of the sidewalk, bikers are known to ride up and smack folks upside the head for walking outside the pedetrian area (ie sidewalk) and in their riding lane. I never saw it happen, but was told it does.

I had a couple of close calls. It took a little while to get used to havings bike lanes everywhere. The bike lanes are well marked, and you get used to them pretty quickly.

Yep, Amsterdam is beautiful. Could we be another Amsterdam? No. But it's an easy trip. Highly recommended. Hank, we wondered where you ran off to. How exotic. I'm jealous.

I know this may make you even more jealous, but there's a pretty good chance that I'll have to go back. :lol:

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Did you get informed about not walking in the bikelane? :D Lots of tourists mistake it sometimes as just another part of the sidewalk, bikers are known to ride up and smack folks upside the head for walking outside the pedetrian area (ie sidewalk) and in their riding lane. I never saw it happen, but was told it does.

In most of Tennessee, it's the drivers who smack the bicyclists.

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Not only the density is great there, but the architecture in European cities is magnificent. Great Pics. That is one place I would like to visit.

All the bikes make me want to get on my bike and ride to Nashville from Ashland City. But like most Americans I would probably die of a heart attack before I get there. :cry::sick::shok:

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I'd like to see the density in housing appear in downtown Nashville the same way it has in the photos above. Nashville would be a much better place if we had all of the fun people (and the not-so-fun people) living in the core.

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I'd like to see the density in housing appear in downtown Nashville the same way it has in the photos above. Nashville would be a much better place if we had all of the fun people (and the not-so-fun people) living in the core.

I totally agree. I think that cities like Nashville and Memphis can construct small dense areas of urban living similar to what is in Amsterdam. It would be a really fun lifestyle for a lot of people. Hmmmm.....Maybe that is exactly what will happen in the Gulch!

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I totally agree. I think that cities like Nashville and Memphis can construct small dense areas of urban living similar to what is in Amsterdam. It would be a really fun lifestyle for a lot of people. Hmmmm.....Maybe that is exactly what will happen in the Gulch!

I said it once and I'll say it again, "Memphis should open up Main Street to vehicular traffic." It would increase visibility to the shops and store fronts and many more people would opt to live and shop in the area because of convenience. I honestly think one lane in each direction would work on Main. Looking at old pictures of Main, it used to be full of people, streetcars, cars, bikes, and everything else imaginable. BTW, when was traffic on Main stopped?

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^ I sort of like Main as it is, but I definately see the potential benefits of looking into opening it up. On the other hand it makes IMO a nice pedestrian area that Memphis might be able to exploit better if it continues to grow in downtown populace and tourism .

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^ I sort of like Main as it is, but I definately see the potential benefits of looking into opening it up. On the other hand it makes IMO a nice pedestrian area that Memphis might be able to exploit better if it continues to grow in downtown populace and tourism .

Main has awesome potential IMO, and would be the perfect area to convert into dense urban living ala Amsterdam. A plan could be drawn up with bike lanes, using the street cars, and maybe even two lanes of traffic. I think the investment would quickly follow.

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Main has awesome potential IMO, and would be the perfect area to convert into dense urban living ala Amsterdam. A plan could be drawn up with bike lanes, using the street cars, and maybe even two lanes of traffic. I think the investment would quickly follow.

I think downtown would EXPLODE with activity if Main were opened up. There are so many unique restaurants that a lot of residents don't know about on Main. In the past 2 years, I have witnessed a number of businesses shut down on Main, from optometrists to the world famous "Obleos." I honestly believe there would be more "real"store fronts on the street instead of touristy shops if they had visibility from vehicle traffic. The modern streetcars that Amsterdam has would fit right in on Main.

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I agree that Main should be open to traffic, although I think it's developing pretty nicely without it. I think it's worth noting that South Main--with no mall--developed faster, even though the architecture and location of the Main mall stretch is much better.

Regarding European-style density--The South End project in Memphis is 30 acres

with a final estimated 4,000 residents at a density of 40 units per acre.

By my little conversion table, that works out to 85,000 people per square mile. Of course, 30 acres is way smaller than a sq. mile, but it's still pretty dense.

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Here's the Amsterdam pictures again so everyone can see. I apologize for causing the original post pictures to not show.

Inside Centraal Station in the heart of downtown Amsterdam

PB110503.jpg

The wide sidewalks of a major downtown street

PB110509.jpg

Spectacular architecture

PB110517.jpg

PB110520.jpg

A canal scene

PB110526.jpg

The inscription translates to "Mankind doesn't piss into the wind".

PB110543.jpg

A downtown resaurant area

PB110546.jpg

Street cars near Centraal Station (I've never seen so many anywhere!)

PB120569.jpg

A 3 level parking garage for bikes - I've never seen so many bikes in one place!

PB120571.jpg

A residential area viewed from one of Amsterdams many canals.

PB120582.jpg

Residential areas along the canals (notice the many bikes)

PB120605.jpg

PB120607.jpg

Downtown shopping on Saturday (unbelievably crowded)

PB120628.jpg

Partying before the big game.... a world cup tuneup game between Holland and Italy.

PB120634.jpg

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I wish Nashville were more like Amsterdam but we'll never get there if people keep complaining about the Madam X house being right in the gulch! Look at Montreal and Tokyo people!! Many world-class cities have burlesque interwoven into up-scale urban districts. Attempts to root-out the XXX Video shop and put in another Panera Bread restaurant do not create a truely cosmopolitan urban environment, it simply turns downtown into coolsprings.

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I wish Nashville were more like Amsterdam but we'll never get there if people keep complaining about the Madam X house being right in the gulch! Look at Montreal and Tokyo people!! Many world-class cities have burlesque interwoven into up-scale urban districts. Attempts to root-out the XXX Video shop and put in another Panera Bread restaurant do not create a truely cosmopolitan urban environment, it simply turns downtown into coolsprings.

Yeah, I agree with you about that. Too much of "revitalization" of downtowns is the cultural suburbanization of downtowns--just in older buildings.

The Memphis city council had a hissy fit because someone put in a strip club downtown through some loophole in the law. Downtown Memphis apparently prohibits "adult entertainment", yet you have umpteen zillion bars which are virtually open nonstop. Done tastefully and discretely, I don't see anything wrong with it. And historically, downtown Memphis always had a certain raunchy, fleshpot appeal to it. :P

Years ago, when I lived in New Orleans, my girlfriend and I would take her 8 yr. old daughter roller-skating down Bourbon St. in the afternoon. We lived nearby and the street was closed to traffic which made it ideal for skating. Tourists would be shocked at a family doing such a thing, but the 8 yr. old certainly wasn't corrupted or even paid any attention to the strip joints.

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